With mass protests, Russia's resurgent opposition poses test for Putin — and Biden

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Allies of jailed russian opposition leader. Alexey navalny who faces years in prison called for new protests next weekend to demand his release following a wave of demonstrations that turned out tens of thousands across the country and a defiant challenge to president vladimir putin mass rallies took place. Saturday in over one hundred cities in what observers said was the largest outpouring of anger in years and nevada. Supporters urged protesters to keep up the pressure. Navan strategist leonid. Volkov tweeted monday for more demonstrations on january thirty first in all russian cities for navalny's freedom for our freedom for justice during saturday's protests over thirty seven hundred people were detained according to vdi info a human rights group that monitors political arrests. The group said the number was a record in its nine years of work more than fourteen hundred detentions in moscow alone also a record. According to russian media some of those detained were released without charges. But many others faced court hearings and moscow courts have handed jail terms ranging from seven to fifteen days to at least thirty detainees and fined sixty four others authorities also launched more than a dozen criminal investigations in moscow petersburg and other russian cities on charges of inciting unrest involving minors and illegal activity violence against police blocking roads hooliganism and damaging property. The molly's team said russia's investigative committee also probing violations of virus related restrictions. Dozens of nevada associates in various cities. Were detained in the days. Before the protests alexandra truck senior partner of the apology of protests. Legal aid group and fall into defense of over. One thousand detainees from the saturday protests called the authorities response unprecedented navalny an anti corruption. Campaigner and putin's fiercest critic was arrested january seventeenth as he returned to russia from germany where he had spent nearly five months recovering from pneumonia. Agent poisoning that he blames on the kremlin russian authorities deny the accusations. He was ordered jailed for thirty days but faces years in prison with authorities accusing him of violating the terms of a suspended sentence and a two thousand fourteen conviction for financial misdeeds. Navalny has said the conviction was motivated. Navan arrest and detention of demonstrators sparked outrage both at home and abroad and some western officials suggested imposing a sanctions on russia for its jailing off. Navalny white house press secretary. Jen psaki urged the immediate. And unconditional release of navalny as well as those who were detained in the crackdown. Sake did not say. When president joe biden plans to speak to putin biden was asked if he would put sanctions on the people involved in the poisoning and arrest of navalny and what that means for prospects of the extension of the new start nuclear arms treaty with russia. I find that we can both operate in the mutual self interest of our countries as a new start agreement and make it clear to russia that we are very concerned about their behavior. He said whether it involves evolving or some other issue the european union's foreign ministers on monday condemned his arrest and the detention of thousands at the protests the council considered it completely unacceptable condemned the mass detentions and the police brutality of the weekend. He you foreign policy chief. Joseph burrell said after chairing the meeting in brussels. The ministers however stopped short of weighing new sanctions. Barral said there has not been any concrete proposal on the table but added that the ministers are ready to act. Depending on the circumstances and russia public indignation was further. Fueled by an investigation. All team released into what they called. Putin's palace a two hour video posted on youtube. On january nineteenth alleged a lavish palace was built for putin on the black sea through an elaborate corruption scheme. It has since received over eighty six million views. The kremlin has denied. The estate had anything to do with the president. Speaking to students via video on monday putin himself addressed the allegations calling them an attempt to brainwash our citizens and saying that none of what is mentioned there as my property has never belonged and doesn't belong to me or my close relatives asked about saturday's protests. Putin said that all people have the right to express their point of view within limits outlined by law he referenced the january six attack on the us capitol and said that those taking part in it were facing between fifteen and twenty five years as if for domestic terrorism. They also came out with political slogans but outside the law. Why should everything outside. The law be allowed here know putin said the russian protests and crackdown appeared to have further strained russia. Us relations us state department spokesman. Ned price on saturday condemned the use of harsh tactics against protesters and journalists and a thirties to release navalny and all those detained for exercising. Their universal rights kremlin spokesman. Dmitry peskov accused washington of interfering with russia's internal affairs after the us embassy in moscow warning on its website detailing times and places of rallies in different russian cities and urging us citizens to avoid them on monday russia's deputy foreign minister sergey raghav lodged a protest to the us ambassador. John sullivan in connection to social media posts in support of unlawful rallies by the us embassy in moscow the ministry said it has also deemed the statement of the us state department spokesman inappropriate.

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